Sporty new Toyota Hilux GR-S

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In South Africa, the “Bakkie” is held in high regard, and you will find them being used as a business work horse, private recreational vehicle, Mum’s Taxi, and a popular choice as a mode of transport for senior executives. 

This is a lucrative market for car manufacturers with locally built Toyota Hilux the dominate player in the sector. Month after month, year after year the Hilux Pick-up sells more units than any of its competitors. Next in line is the Ford Ranger which has its own loyal fan base but still not close to selling as many units as the Toyota.

To keep the segment interesting, Toyota has just upgraded its Hilux double cab GR-S version just before Ford introduces its new Ranger and VW launch its new Amarok. The GR-S is influenced by the Toyota Gazoo Racing division with the S denoting Sport. Based on the Hilux Raider spec the GR-S adds aesthetic upgrades, some minor handling improvements, and some power upgrade.

Engine outputs boosted to 165 kW and 550 Nm, GR-specific suspension tuning, exterior design front grille treatment, wider over fenders, leather/Alcantara interior trim with unique GR accents and 17 -inch alloy wheels shod with 265-65-R17 tyres. 

From the outside the GR-S projects both toughness and sportiness showing off a large and prominent black front grille, horizontal cross bar finished in a carbon-fibre pattern and chrome Toyota lettering. Bold vertically stacked air ducts with LED headlights and integrated LED fog lamps. Black mirror caps, black door handles, graphite-coloured side steps and rear styling bar with GR branding. If you require a few more decals these can be added as an option from three different designs depending on exterior colour and applied by the dealer. Four exterior colours, Arizona Red, Graphite Grey, Attitude Black and Glacier White.

Inside cog-like metallic bezel red needles are design changes on the new instrument cluster. Perforated leather-trim steering wheel with red contrasting stitching and GR badging is joined by sporty aluminium pedals. Carbon-fibre trim, racing inspired seats and GR badging on the headrests.

Increased power by 15 kW and torque by 50 Nm improving sprint time of 0 – 100 km/h by 0.65 seconds. Top speed is 175 km/h. 4×4 transaxle mated to a six speed automatic transmission with Auto LSD function. Aluminium paddle shifters for driver gear selection. 

Standard specifications include keyless entry, retractable and power adjusted side mirrors, automatic headlights, auto door lock, park distance control, reverse camera, dual-zone climate control, one-touch power windows and integrated power outlets. A new feature is the panoramic view monitor which provides surround camera as well as birds eye view of vehicle surrounds. Tow capacity 750 kg unbraked and 3 500 kg braked. 80 litre fuel tank and maximum load of 5 850kg. 

Only one model is available, the Hilux GR-S 2.8 GD- 4×4 6AT retailing for R865 400

Sold with the usual 9-services/90 000km service plan. 3-year/100 000km warranty.

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